RALEIGH, NC—Following Rick Santorum's announcement Tuesday that he would end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, candidate Newt Gingrich called upon frontrunner Mitt Romney to drop out of the race so the former House speaker could concentrate on the general election. "While I respect my challenger's right to fight through to the bitter end, the time has now come to unite behind one man so we can take back the White House in November," said Gingrich, addressing a crowd of 35 supporters at the Raleigh County Public Library. "My opponent should be congratulated on running a fine campaign. But I need him to swallow his pride, come back to reality, and tell all Republicans to throw their support behind Newt Gingrich as the next president of the United States." Gingrich noted that Romney's withdrawal would bolster Gingrich's fundraising efforts as he seeks to eliminate some of the $4.5 million in debt he has amassed thus far in his victorious campaign.